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Monday, May 28, 2018

Memorial Day Weekend 2018

I hope you had a lovely weekend; mine was busy and enjoyable. This was a Stoughton quilting weekend though I have to admit, I did not accomplish all that much as I didn't spend much time there. On Saturday afternoon I attended a family get together which we call "Cousins Day." It's always fun to spend time with my seven little cousins and their parents.

Yesterday afternoon my wonderful godchild came to plant a rose bush that I had recently purchased. I've been wearing my trusty, incredibly stylish, big black boot for the last few weeks and besides not being able to plant the rose, I also hadn't able to go under the porch to turn on my outside faucets so she did that as well. (I'm hoping to be able to put this boot back in the closet very soon as my larger  garden needs lots and lots of work.) Her girls also came which made Emma deliriously happy and later we went to Hornstra Farm in Norwell for ice cream. Though it was a very cool, damp afternoon the parking lot was filled just the same. 



Last fall, I began working on "The Witchy Ladies," a pattern by Sue Pritt of Sweet Season Quilts.   I faithfully followed the colors indicated in the pattern but added a few of my own touches.

Here using two blue, metallic beads and some metallic floss I added a spider to the web. 


Next, I sprinkled notes emanating from the pipe organ.


I also had fun adding Swarovski crystals for eyes and for a sparkly night sky.




You may click on any photo to see a larger image or you could stop in and have your fortune told.



All of Sue Pritt's patterns are very detailed and whimsical. 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Blooming in My Garden This Week



A bed of these two-toned purple irises have been blooming in my yard for as long as I can remember. I know they should be divided every seven years or so, and I will definitely try to do that this fall. 

 

The orange poppies originally came from my aunt's garden. I thought for sure that last night's rain would cause the paper thin, fragile petals to fall, but they survived and their gorgeous blooms will last a few more days. I shot a number of poppy photos, but this one was my favorite.  These images were taken with my Tamron 100mm macro lens. As you can see, I love photographing flowers. :-) 

 Please click on any photo to see a larger image.


A few months ago, I signed up for Netflix because I wanted to watch The Crown. I loved it at first, but my interested waned after a while as the members of the royal family in this series are not portrayed in some cases in a very favorable manner. I did find a program on the royal family, however, which I really enjoyed, the BBC documentary, Elizabeth at 90:A Family Tribute.  If you are watching The Crown, it showed Queen Elizabeth often using a movie camera on her travels. Elizabeth at 90:A Family Tribute presents actual royal "home" movies. It is narrated by Prince Charles and what makes it special is that it shows various members of the royal family including Queen Elizabeth viewing and commenting on the movies. One section shows Prince William and Prince Harry laughing at the antics of their father as a young boy. My favorite scenes featured the daughter of Princess Margaret viewing her mother as a very little girl dancing and playing with her sister the future queen. The expressions of sweet delight on Lady Sarah's face are wonderful as she repeatedly remarks that she had never ever seen those images of her mother. It is an hour documentary which you would  enjoy.

Speaking of gardening, if you have Netflix, I have another recommendation, "Big Dreams, Small Spaces."  I saw this program mentioned on a blog that I follow so I checked it out and I'm glad that I did. It features horticulturist Monty Don who travels all over England helping folks create the garden of their dreams. It's amazing to see how ambitious some of their plans are. He guides, encourages, and sometimes helps them design more realistic plans. If you enjoy gardening, you would enjoy this Netflix program. It is very relaxing and enjoyable to watch, and I have picked up quite a few gardening tips. Lord knows what Monty Don would say about my topsy turvy, jumbled large garden!  By the way, have you ever heard of putting a mud head in your garden? I had never heard of mud heads and neither had Monty Don, but if you watch the series you'll see one determined lady create one in her large garden. :-)

It's been a busy week so far. On Tuesday, the Crosstown Quilt Guild had a lively and fun speaker, Beth Helfter of EvaPaige Quilt Designs   who presented a trunk show and talk entitled, "Give It a Scrap Slap." Yesterday, I met friends for lunch and then last night met another group of friends at a local restaurant to celebrate a friend's birthday . . . one of those BIG ones that ends in a zero. :-) All in all it was a fun busy day!!!

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Once Upon a Time . . .



Once upon a time a popular red headed prince went on a blind date with a beautiful young American actress. They fell in love and today over a billion people around the world watched their fairy tale wedding in Windsor.

I started watching at 5:45 am. After the initial four hours of coverage, I switched to another channel to catch that station's recap of the ceremony and tonight I'm watching more recaps. CNN is showing the entire ceremony again. :-)

Every moment of the ceremony was beautiful. The music was magical from the soloist to the church choir to the gospel choir to the young cellist each, every note was perfection.


I kept looking at Meghan's mother whose face was filled with so much emotion as her daughter became a member of the royal family, and I'm sure everyone was also thinking of Princess Diana and the joy she would have felt watching her youngest son marry the woman he loves.

No one does pomp, ceremony, and celebration as the British do. The horse-drawn carriage procession through Windsor was my favorite part. I could have watched that scene for hours.

 



In our troubled, chaotic, dangerous world, it was good to have a day of joy, romance, and love.

May the Duke and Duchess of Sussex live happily ever after . . .

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Crosstown Quilters Guild Raffle Quilt



At Tuesday's meeting of the Crosstown Quilters Guild, we got our first look at our guild's spectacular raffle quilt for our upcoming quilt show in October.  Congratulations to all who worked on this gorgeous quilt.

Here's a close up of the center.  Please note: any guild member will be more than happy to sell you a raffle ticket. :-)


Our speaker for this meeting was Michelle Banton who spoke on how to transfer photos to fabric.

One other thing happened at the meeting; I'm going to become the guild president for the next two years.  :-)

Earlier today I spent some time photographing the red columbine in my garden.  Many times I just post quick photos taken with my iPhone, but these images were taken with my 'real' camera and macro lens. It really does make a difference.




It was a damp and cool morning, but now it is turning into another lovely spring afternoon.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Friday Photos



On Tuesday when I picked up Emma at the groomer (Pooch Paws in Rockland), she was sporting this green, dazzling bow, a perfect match for her sparkling personality. I will tuck the bow away for St. Patrick's day.

Later she checked out some of my daffodils.


If you are new to my blog or haven't read about these daffodils, please read my post  Full Circle from 2011. It's an amazing story and all the more so because it really happened. I guarantee you will enjoy it. These daffodils are descendants of those very same bulbs. I intend to divide them later in the summer, so if you would like some, please let me know.


The grape hyacinths have also come on strong this year.


The plant in the front is a money/lunaria plant. It's a biennial which is grown for its flat, round silvery seed pods which make a lovely dried arrangement. I have had money plants scattered throughout my large garden for as long as I can remember.



Aren't they pretty with these little yellow flowers?


I don't even have to plant these lovely, yellow flowers; they just come up every spring. You have to admit that they are quite pretty when they first appear.


By the way, did you know that the name for this plant "dandelion" derives from the French, "dent de lion . . . teeth of the lion? That's your fun fact for the day.

Have a wonderful spring weekend!

Thursday, May 3, 2018

A Whole Lot of Baking and Sewing Going On


As promised in my previous post, here is what I accomplished on the getaway. First, I strapped on my fetching new apron. Next, I grabbed my oven mitts.


I took down the cannisters of flour and sugar and began baking.



First out of the oven, a tray of golden sugar cookies.


Then some yummy cupcakes . . .


I didn't have time to finish baking the doughnuts, but I'll post them soon.



 I also made eighteen of the twenty-seven blocks needed for the outer border of the Lori Holt's - Let's Bake2 quilt which I am really enjoying.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Herring Run Quilt Guild Getaway 2018

Seventy-seven quilters headed to Sturbridge, MA, over the weekend for a getaway. Two of my friends and I headed there a day early to visit quilt shops in the area. Not surprisingly, we saw fellow guild members at each of our stops. It seems many of us went an extra day early. My favorite shop was Appletree Fabrics in Auburn, MA. It was a lovely shop with a beautiful selection of fabric.


 Another stop was at the Meeting House Quilt Shop in Wales, MA. The displays in this shop were charming. There was quite a bit of Civil War Reproduction fabric and other styles and colorways which were not my style, but if I didn't already have a draw chock full of wool fabric, I could have done a lot of shopping here.

 On Friday night, we were invited to The Charlton Sewing Center for some private hours of shopping and a delicious spread of chocolate desserts.  Cathy Racine, the owner of this shop, was also the speaker at our Saturday night dinner. She is warm, funny, and entertaining and possibly the only person who could make the subject of needles and thread tension fun! Trust me . . . she was that good.


These were the cute little fat quarter cupcake favors at our places for dinner on Saturday night. The candles in the cupcakes were tape measures. They were made by Clare and Nancy, two members of our guild, who also made jar openers for each person.


So, you might be wondering . . . what did I buy?  The photo below shows some flannel fabric for the back of a baby quilt, a piece of tonal grey fabric for an upcoming project, a rustic flag panel,  a gorgeous piece of blue print batik, some brown batik yardage, and a number of fat quarters.


The lush coordinating fabrics below may become a table runner.


I see lots of possibilities in this water color batik. It's only a fat quarter and now I wish that I had checked to see if there was yardage of this fabric.  H'mmm . . . I may just have to make a return trip. :-) Now which shop was it??? I think it was either Appletree Fabrics or Quilt and Cabbage in Sturbridge.


So, non-quilters might be wondering whether we spend the entire weekend quilting. Yup, that's pretty much it . . .  along with shopping for fabric, talking, laughing, eating, admiring each others' work, laughing some more, creating, and in general having a fun, relaxing, productive weekend.

Emma stayed at her home away from home. She always enjoys her time with her other family and canine cousins, Harvey and Bailey. I am so fortunate to have friends who will welcome Emma into their home. Here we are Sunday night after a very full weekend.


In my next post, I'll show you what I accomplished.

Oh, I almost forgot. We were not the only ones at the conference center. There was a major chess tournament and over four hundred Bermese Mountain dogs attending a regional breed show!!! We met a few of the dogs, and they were truly beautiful, gentle giants.